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What makes Brahman cattle unique?

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Quick Answer

Brahman cattle have high heat tolerance, exhibit pest resistance and often have longer life spans that other cattle breeds. Many of their unique adaptations are due to the breed originating in India.

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Full Answer

The Brahman cow was the United State's first beef-cattle breed. Brahman cattle are a cross of a variety of cattle breeds indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. Because of environmental conditions in India, Brahmans have a unique array of adaptations. The breed is incredibly heat-tolerant, surviving comfortably at temperatures in excess of 105 degrees F. They are also as cold-tolerant as many European breeds and tolerate temperatures as low as 8 degrees F. The Brahman's heat tolerance comes in part from its ability to sweat and from its cooler internal body temperature; Brahman cattle produce less heat, internally, than do most European breeds. Also, the black pigment of the Brahman's skin means that it experiences less tissue damage from ultraviolet radiation. Brahmans are resistant to many biting insects, especially mosquitoes. This makes them less likely to contract bloodborne pathogens than their European counterparts. Brahman cattle have longer life spans than do many other breeds. Not only do they live longer, but they breed reliably for a longer period of time. Brahman cattle often successfully produce calves past the age of 15.

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